Robots are amazing. Each morning, my Alarm Robot gets me out of bed. My iPad Robot automatically syncs up my new podcasts for the day. And my Google Maps Robot lets me know how long it’ll take me to get to where I’m going. So obviously when it comes to managing my money, I’m totally pro robot. And my favorite money machine friend? The Mint.com Robot.
Why I love The Mint.com Robot
For years, I’ve used Mint.com to help me automatically track my accounts, measure my net worth and alert me when I need to readjust my money. And on more than one occasion, my Mint.com Robot has warned me about nasty bank fees. That alone has made Mint.com worth it (and by worth it, I mean worth my time, since Mint.com is totally free to use).
I’ve recently dove back into my Mint.com account after redoing my budget a few weeks back. I’d actually never used the Mint.com budgeting tool, and I’ve been feeling more and more like I need some simplicity and automation with my money. Naturally, I turned to Mint.com to get some robot help to track my spending. So far, it’s been a great help to help keep some of my spending in check (read: Amazon purchases and drinks at the bar).
If you’re looking for some robot money help with your budget, here’s how to use Mint.com to manage your money:
HOw to Use Mint.com for budgeting
- Create your account on Mint.com. It’s totally free to sign up and it takes just a few seconds.
- Sync your accounts. Mint works by syncing up to all of your financial accounts: bank accounts, credit cards, loan servicers and even your PayPal account. You’ll need to provide Mint with your log in information for the accounts you want on your profile. Mint will sync your accounts to your profile and update your balances automatically (don’t worry: Mint’s got a really secure system to protect your log in information, and there’s no way to transfer or withdraw money from your Mint account).
- View your spending trends. Once you’ve synced your accounts, check out the Trends tab to see where your money is going. Mint automatically categorizes your purchases for you, so you’ll see a graph with your spending history. For example, every time I go to Starbucks and I charge it to my credit card, it gets thrown into my Food and Dining category.
4. Review and create Categories. Mint automatically categorizes your spending and provides you with some basic default categories. Take a look at your Transactions tab to review them and create a few of your own. Creating and using categories affects everything you do in Mint: budgets, trends, habits, reminders, etc. If you create sloppy categories, the whole thing will fall apart. So make them clean and simple and use them consistently. You’ll also want to take a second to categorize anything that was automatically labeled as “Uncategorized.”
5. Set your budget. Head into the Budgets tab and choose the amount you want for each of your categories. Want to limit your Alcohol and Bar spending to $50 a month? Adjust the amount with the arrows. Since Mint automatically keeps track of what you spend in each category, it’ll start to fill this in with your purchases as the month goes along.
6. Stay on top of your budget with alerts. This is the best part of Mint.com! If I overspend in my Alcohol and Bars category, Mint will send me an email or text message letting me know. You can set your alerts under “Email and Alerts” in your Profile. You can also set up alerts for low account balances or account fees (when I get alerted from Mint about account fees, I’ll jump into action and try to get them waived).
That’s it! You’ve just set your Mint.com robot up for success 🙂
Want to MASTER THE Mint.com ROBOT? CHeck out The Mint Manual
So you’ve got the gist of getting started with Mint. But if you want to step up your budgeting game and really make the most out of your Mint.com robot, you’ll want to check out The Mint Manual.
I’ll admit: I love my Mint.com Robot, but I wasn’t using it to its full effect. So when I read this guide, I realized just what I was missing. The Mint Manual would have saved me TONS of time when I was first setting up Mint.com. But even after I’ve been using Mint for so many years, it’s been the best resource to help me with the more advanced features and really milk my Mint.com experience.
The Mint Manual has everything you need to get started with or to perfect your Mint.com experience: cheat sheets, screenshots, tips and tricks and detailed examples. It’s the short-cut to help you master the basics and using the more advanced features like setting goals, tagging, exporting files – even tax prep and shopping.
Simply put: The Mint Manual saved me tons of time on trial-and-error. So if you want to get up and running quickly, easily and efficiently with Mint.com or you want to take your Mint.com robot to the next level, this is the guide for you.
Want a free sample of the Mint Manual? Check out this link and scroll down to the middle of the page: bit.ly/mintmanual
All Hail The Robot Budget!
Hopefully now you have a better sense of how to use Mint.com. I know that automating a budget isn’t for everyone. There are some people who do a lot better with pen and paper or a simple excel sheet. But even if you don’t use Mint.com for your budget, it’s a great way to set up alerts for fees or unusual account activity.
For me, Mint.com has sure makes my money life a lot simpler. And I for one welcome our new robot overlords 🙂
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